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December 11, 2015

Take Action: Thank Your County Commissioner

Join us in thanking the Cook County Board of Commissioners for their unanimous vote to support funding for the Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program for another year. Personalized phone calls and emails can go a long way.

Find Your County Commissioner

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December 3, 2015

Justice as a Discretionary Expense Where Did We Lose Our Way and How Can We Find Our Way Back?

Somewhere along the way from the time of our nation’s founding to today, the principle of justice for all went from being fundamental to who we are as Americans to something that is largely treated as a discretionary budget item at all levels of government. As a result, our nation’s promise of justice for all increasingly looks like an empty one to most Americans–and we all are losing something vital to our national identity in the process.

How did we lose our way on something so integral to who we are as Americans? And more importantly, how do we get ourselves back on track? While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I do know this: it won’t just happen by itself. All of us in the legal community, both individually and collectively, need to use our influence by taking the lead in making this case to our elected officials and to the public.

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November 19, 2015

A Network of Help for Considerable South Suburban Need

Ford Heights, located in southern Cook County, was once pegged as America’s poorest suburb. Three of its neighboring towns now claim the highest suburban poverty rates in Illinois: Harvey, Robbins, and Chicago Heights, all of which fall within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court’s Sixth Municipal District in Markham.

Markham is a busy courthouse with a large unmet need, and its compact space enhances that challenge. In fact, it is also the only district in Cook County that has additional court call locations in 12 village halls and police departments. For people without a lawyer to guide them through the process, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Your support of the CBF Investing in Justice Campaign has helped build a network of court-based services in Markham that provide legal assistance to thousands in need for evictions, collections, and other matters.

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November 18, 2015

Take Action: Voice Your Support for Increased LSC Funding

With a recent agreement on the overall federal budget now signed into law, Congress will be finalizing details of next year’s budget over the next several weeks, including funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Please thank President Obama, Senators Durbin and Kirk, and your member of Congress for their support of LSC funding and […]

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November 17, 2015

ADAPT Pro Bono Project

LAF’s newest pro bono project, ADAPT (Advance Directives and Property Transfers) for Seniors, connects low-income seniors to lawyers who will help them establish powers of attorney, living wills, and transfer on death instruments. If you are interested in receiving more information and participating in the first trainings to be scheduled, please contact Rachel Riemenschneider or visit the LAF website to submit a volunteer application.

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November 12, 2015

JEP Welcomes New Class

The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) began its sixth class of participants this week, bringing the program’s network to more than 50 lawyers who are currently participating in or have completed the program and remain part of the JEP network. The new participants, chosen through a competitive selection process, are:

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November 11, 2015

Examining Prosecutorial Discretion in Deportation

Prosecutorial discretion has long been part of our legal system, including in the immigration context. A case from the 1970s involving John Lennon marked the first time that the administration’s prosecutorial discretion policy became public knowledge, despite its use going back to past administrations. Today, the concept of prosecutorial discretion is more widely known in […]

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November 10, 2015

Thanks for Making this Year’s Fall Benefit a Big Success!

Thank you to everyone who made the 19th Annual Fall Benefit at The Field Museum a big success! Over 2,000 people from Chicago’s legal community came together on Saturday, November 7 to support and celebrate the CBF’s mission (alongside Sue!). The casual, family-friendly event featured tasty comfort food, unique kids’ activities, a sprawling silent auction, live music, open bar, complimentary parking, and access to the museum’s many popular exhibits, including the newest permanent exhibit, Cyrus Tang Hall of China, and special exhibit Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice AgePhotos from the event show smiles all around.

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November 6, 2015

Pro Bono Week 2015: Rise Above Your Narrow Confines

The Chicago Bar Association and the CBF co-sponsored the 11th Annual Pro Bono Week from October 26 to 30, 2015, with the theme Rise Above Your Narrow Confines. Olga Pribyl, vice president of the Special Education Clinic and Pro Bono at Equip for Equality, and Z. Scott, partner at Kaye Scholer LLP, co-chaired the Week.

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October 30, 2015

Pro Bono Myths and Realities: Final Thoughts

Part 7 of a 7-part series

Congratulations! We have reached the end of this weeklong Myths and Realities series on pro bono, and you deserve a gold star for hanging in for the whole series.

Over the course of Pro Bono Week, I’ve discussed pro bono from the vantage point of five key pro bono stakeholder groups: lawyers, firms and law departments; legal aid organizations; government; the courts; and bar associations, foundations, access to justice commissions and other systemic players. To protect the guilty, I have not always called out the myths surrounding each stakeholder, focusing instead on the realities and positive steps that each group can and should take to advance this cause. With a little imagination though, you probably can see where I believe the myths are in there by looking at the opposite of what I had to say, and what did not make my list at all.

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